Spotify finally testing Apple Watch streaming support with some users, ViacomCBS Confirms Paramount+ As New Streaming Name For CBS All Access And Other Top News

Few key things that happened around the Ad Tech & Media Tech world this week.

Spotify finally testing Apple Watch streaming support with some users

After almost two years since the debut of the Spotify Apple Watch app, the service is finally testing streaming support with what looks like a random selection of users. Spotify launched it’s Apple Watch app back in November of 2018. Since then we’ve seen some updates like Siri support but the app has lagged behind competitors like Pandora (and of course Apple Music) with no support for streaming audio or offline playback. That’s relegated the Spotify Apple Watch app being an iPhone remote control. Reported by iPhone-Ticker.de (via Google Translate), some users are starting to see the functionality go live on their Apple Watches. Based on what users are seeing and also a recent thread on Reddit, it doesn’t appear to directly correlate with running the Spotify beta or a specific iOS/watchOS version. However, those who Spotify is testing the feature with are seeing a blue beta icon indicating the feature isn’t rolling out to everyone at this time. Those seeing the option to stream Spotify from their wrist with Apple Watch also note the ability to use it directly with the wearable’s built-in speaker as an alternative to Bluetooth headphones…More

ViacomCBS Confirms Paramount+ As New Streaming Name For CBS All Access

ViacomCBS today confirmed Paramount+ as the new name for the company’s CBS All Access streaming service. The rebrand, which takes effect in early 2021, had been reported in recent weeks and executives have been talking about the revamp throughout this year. The official announcement of the shift didn’t offer many surprises apart from some notable original programming news on a series about the making of The Godfather and a spy show from Yellowstone co-creator Taylor Sheridan. Showtime, the sister streaming service to CBS All Access, will continue to operate separately from Paramount+. Some form of bundling is likely down the line, though no plans have been set on that front. Most CBS All Access subscribers pay $6 a month for an ad-supported version, with others forking over $10 a month for an ad-free experience. Together, the two services had 16.2 million subscribers as of the end of June. ViacomCBS has never broken out individual numbers for each but executives have said in recent years that they are similar in size. ViacomCBS also has a thriving free streaming service in Pluto TV, which has more than 26.5 million subscribers in the U.S. and several global territories. Both CBS All Access and Showtime launched in 2015, a bit ahead of the curve in terms of stand-alone streaming by established media companies. The field has since gotten significantly more crowded, with Apple, Disney, NBCUniversal and WarnerMedia all launching subscription services over the past year…More

Recorded music revenue is up on streaming growth, as physical sales plummet

With touring ground to a halt for the foreseeable future, 2020 has become the most difficult year for musicians in recent memory. One’s ability to survive on music depends on a variety of factors, of course, including things like audience, reach and how their fans access their output. The world of recorded music has been a mixed bag throughout the pandemic. New industry figures from the Recording Industry Association of America out this week show that revenue for recorded music is actually up for the first half of 2020, owing, unsurprisingly, to the growth of music streaming. With vastly more people stuck inside seeking novel methods of entertainment, paid subscriptions (Spotify,  Apple Music, et al.) are up 24% year-over-year. Revenues on streaming music are up 12% overall, hitting $2.4 billion for the first half of the year. The figured has been hampered by an overall drop in ad sales that certainly isn’t limited to the music industry. That has had a sizable impact on services like YouTube, Vevo and Spotify’s free tier. Physical sales of CDs and vinyl took a massive hit to an already rocky foundation, down 23% for that time period. Streaming now makes up 85% of all revenue in the U.S., with physical sales only commanding 7% — just slightly higher than the 6% made by digital downloads. It’s a troubling figure, given the difficulty many more independent artists have faced in monetizing streaming…More

Apple changes App Store rules to allow streaming game services

Apple is changing its App Store rules to allow game streaming services, which let people play video games over the internet in a way that’s similar to how they stream movies on Netflix. The move marks the iPhone maker’s acknowledgement of the changing ways some people are playing video games. Apple said the new rules will allow apps that connect to game streaming services such as Sony’s PlayStation Now, Microsoft’s Xbox xCloud, Google’s Stadia and Nvidia’s GeForce Now. But there’s a catch. Apple won’t simply let the game companies publish an app like movie and TV companies do. Instead, game streaming firms are required to submit an app for each individual game on their service, which Apple will then review just like any of the other 1.8 million programs in the App Store. As a result, people who want to use a game streaming service will find its associated games on Apple’s App Store, with reviews and ratings like every other app. When they open the game’s app, it’ll likely then connect to the streaming service and let them begin playing. This also means that if a subscription service offers hundreds of games, each one will need a separate app that connects to that service…More

Amazon Prime and Netflix are preferred OTT platforms of the youth

65% of millennials and Gen Z prefer consuming video content on an over-the-top (OTT) platform over TV, according to a report unveiled by The Data Sciences Division of Dentsu Aegis Network (DAN) India. Titled ‘Now Streaming: The Indian Youth OTT Story’, the report reveals deep findings of OTT content and gaming habits of the Gen Z and Millennial audiences from Urban India. While a large chunk of India is a single TV household, affordable data and advancements in mobile technology has been a huge boost to the country’s growing online content and gaming consumer base, Gautam Mehra, CEO, DAN Programmatic and chief data officer, DAN – South Asia, said. “The report reveals trends of platforms of choice as well as a growing subscriber base and supports our investments into our recently launched OTT Planner – DMC Video+ as well as the world’s first gaming DSP – Dentsu Play to support advertisers navigate their investments in this ecosystem,” he added.As per the report, India’s on demand digital streaming industry surpassed the national film industry in terms of both viewership and growth. With entertainment gone online coupled with a surge in online gamers, the pandemic has proven to be a fillip to the sector with consumers confined to their homes. With the Indian OTT base being pegged to triple this year, the OTT sector presents a huge opportunity for investment into video content and mobile gaming services. “We can hypothesise that Amazon Prime and Netflix are unquestionably the platforms of preference among the youth with 60% of our sample having subscriptions to either or both of those platforms…More



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